Next to Hasselbeck, Brink is Mr. Qwest

SEATTLE -– Qwest Field no longer can be called Alex Brink's football home away from home. When Brink, a Washington State senior, mercifully went to the Qwest Field sideline Saturday with the Cougars holding a big lead over San Diego State, it signaled the end of an unusual relationship between the big quarterback and the downtown venue.

For four years in a row, Brink was the focal point of a Cougar offense during Qwest Field games against Colorado in 2004, Grambling (2005), Baylor (2006) and San Diego State this season.

It's believed that the Seahawks' Matt Hasselbeck is the only quarterback who has played more games than Brink in the house that Paul Allen had built for his NFL team.

Yes, Brink said after leading the Cougars to a 45-17 victory over the Aztecs by throwing for 469 yards and five touchdowns, he's going to miss the place.

"It's a fun place to play,'' Brink said. "Today (Saturday) I really noticed the noise. The quarterback from San Diego State came up and said, ‘This is a nice place.' It was one of the first times I looked around and it is a great place to play. The atmosphere ... we had our fans really supporting us. It was a fun deal.

"I think I'm going to miss it a little bit."

As well he should.

Brink helped the Cougars win three straight Qwest Field games -- over San Diego State, Baylor and Grambling -- following a learning experience loss absorbed when he came off the bench as a freshman against Colorado.

Against the Buffaloes he lost a fumble near the goal line on WSU's final possession.

"That first game was a tough one ... kind of a baptism under fire,'' Brink said. "I got my feet wet real quick. It made me a better player. Those trials I went through in that first game made me better."

It was the start of a career that has propelled Brink past WSU legends Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf into third place on the Cougars' career passing yardage list. The 469 yards against San Diego State gave Brink 7,564 -- ahead of Leaf (7,433) and Bledsoe (7,373). Only Jack Thompson (7,818) and Jason Gesser (8,830) are ahead of Brink.

"It's more important that we got the win,'' Brink said after being told he had passed Bledsoe and Leaf. "That's the big thing."


Attempts/completions: 131/90
Total passing yards: 1,233
Average yards per game: 308
Touchdown passes: 9
Interceptions: 3
Won-loss record: 3-1


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